This week in women, we bring you Trump's horrific plan for parental leave, another sexist fraternity, and the government's plan to make your period even worse.



This Week in Women: Trump Tackles Tampons

Here’s the current state of womanhood in the United States: you aren’t guaranteed any paid leave after having a baby. If you aren’t pregnant, you probably get your period every now and then—and you probably have to pay an extra period tax. If you decide to go to college, you’ll likely have to take out exorbitant loans to cover ever-rising tuition—and even then, you aren’t safe from pervasive on-campus rape culture. You also get paid less, but you already knew that. Without further ado, it’s this week in women: the tampons and Trump edition.

Trump’s Plan For Working Women

After being urged by his very favorite daughter to do something, anything, to appeal to women voters, Donald Trump revealed his administration’s parental leave policy: six weeks of paid maternity leave for women who have just given birth, and no one else.

This is the same Trump who, in 2004, called pregnancy inconvenient for employers. “It’s a wonderful thing for  the woman, it’s a wonderful thing for the husband,” he said during a 2004 Dateline interview. “It’s clearly an inconvenience for a business. And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business.”

The Clinton campaign, which is proposing 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all parents was quick to criticize Trump’s plan.

“After spending his entire career—and this entire campaign—demeaning women and dismissing the need to support working families, Donald Trump released a regressive and insufficient ‘maternity leave’ policy that is out of touch, half-baked, and ignores the way Americans live and work today,” Clinton spokeswoman Maya Harris told The Huffington Post.

But wait, there’s more! The following day, his daughter Ivanka—who had reportedly convinced her father to do something by saying, “Daddy, daddy, we have to do this!”—had a pretty abysmal interview with Cosmopolitan during which she got angry at reporter Prachi Gupta for asking her questions—and for “putting a lot of negativity” into said questions—and for not celebrating Trump’s “revolutionary” plan.

And then she trashed them on Twitter.

Rape Culture On Campus? What A Surprise!

A University of Richmond fraternity is in a whole lot of trouble after a leaked email, titled “The wait is finally over,” revealed some pretty sexist and overall gross behavior among otherwise distinguished gentlemen.

The email, which was first obtained by The Collegian, was sent to at least 95 students including freshmen, on Friday afternoon. Among other things, the email suggested that the fraternity would be having an “ameriKA”-themed party. Sounds harmless enough. And yet….

“If you haven’t started drinking already, catch up,” the email read (it was sent at 12:55 p.m., by the way). “Tonight’s the type of night that makes fathers afraid to send their daughters away to school. Let’s get it.”

But you know, rape culture totally isn’t a thing on college campuses.

Let’s get a few things straight: parties are fun; drinking is also fun, especially at parties; hooking up with people is also fun, but not if those people are so drunk they aren’t actually able to consent. This should be common knowledge, but it doesn’t appear to be.

Thankfully, the email was leaked and the fraternity has been suspended by both its national headquarters and by the university and will be investigated by the administration.

On Monday, the university’s vice president for student development, Steve Bisese, sent an email to university staff, students, and faculty announcing the fraternity’s suspension. Richmond’s Kappa Alpha Order president issued a statement of his own, in which he claimed “Gentlemanly conduct is at the core of Kappa Alpha Order’s values.” Interesting.

The fact that this email was sent is bad enough—just imagine how many similar emails are sent at universities throughout the country.


No Untaxed Tampons In L.A.

We’re big fans of eliminating the tampon tax here—people who get periods shouldn’t have to pay an extra fee to experience something that is already uncomfortable, annoying, and pretty expensive. You know who isn’t a big fan of the tampon tax? California’s governor, Jerry Brown, who vetoed two bills on Tuesday that would have eliminated taxes on tampons and diapers.

Both bills had passed with unanimous votes in California’s state legislature, but Brown chose to veto them because that would effectively be “new spending,” the LA Times reports. That is, he vetoed them because taxing women for bleeding and babies for pooping is pretty lucrative—if the bills had passed, they would reportedly reduce the state’s revenue by $35 million.

But California’s lawmakers aren’t going down without a fight. “We will continue working to achieve sales tax reform and bridge the diaper gap that forces too many of California’s working families to struggle,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who penned the diaper tax bill, told the Times. Someday every American will be able to bleed and poop in peace.


Lead graphic by Ashley Britton

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.

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